Geosciences in Alaska


Arctic Alaska Dinosaur Project

Team Members

Preparatory Field Trip to Pt. Reyes

Field Research in Alaska

Geoscience Conceptual Framework


Trip Log: Saturday, July 20, 2002

We felt at home as we awoke to fog. It gave the riverbank an eerie appearance as the sun broke through. It was a sunny day by 8:15 a.m., and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Roland welcomed us to our first day at Poverty Bar. We checked our topographic maps to locate the local sites along the Colville River.

Boat to the quarry

Above and below: Our daily boat ride to the quarries.

On the boat to the quarry

Janet relayed the information that we learned last night from the USGS party about the shells scattered on Poverty Bar. These shells have washed down from the cliffs from the Gubik formation and are about 10,000 years old.

We boarded the boat to view for the first time the Liscomb bed. The major task for the day was to set up the quarries. As we jumped onto shore, we began picking up dinosaur bones and teeth. In fact, before long we had piles of dinosaur bones along the beach. In an old bed we had a practice excavation where we learned what and what not to do. How fortunate we felt to be able to discover bones so quickly! It energized us to begin the more difficult task of setting each group’s quarry.

This task involved driving in scree stakes exactly one meter apart, to form a right triangle. This will be the basis for our one-meter-square grid for excavation. Luckily we were blessed with beautiful weather and some cool breezes, but the mosquitoes were ever-present.

hot beverage break at the quarries
A hot beverage break at the quarries.

We returned to camp at 4:30 p.m. for Roland’s famous ginger honey tea, some rest, and a quesadilla dinner. No rest for the weary. We were issued our quarry field books and the University of Alaska Dinosaur Project Field Manual for the Colville River. We climbed back into the boat and headed back to the site. There we took bearings of the base line of our quarry and began cleaning and tidying our quarries to begin excavation. We began to peel off the first layers of mudstone and shale. Some sites already began to reveal small bones. At 9:30 p.m. we called it quits, covered over our sites with a tarp and returning via motorboat to our new home on the bar.

This was a truly amazing day…….DINOSAUR BONES AT LAST!!!

Reporters for the day, Pam and Rena

Back (July 19) | Forward (July 21)

Project partners and sponsors:
West Contra Costa Unified School District   UC Museum of Paleontology   University of Alaska Museum    National Science Foundation    The Mechanics Bank
Credits | Copyright